Category Archives: currently

i’m still cookie dough.

So, I’ve been 30 for about three weeks now. And while turning 30 wasn’t a huge, life-altering thing to experience, saying “I’m 30” still feels strange and foreign on my tongue.

29 was a really good year. I got married, I traveled a lot, I did well at my job. For the most part, I felt like a functioning adult.

But there’s something about turning 30 that feels daunting for a lot of people, if not almost everyone. I know that it felt very much that way for me. It’s the end of a era, a notable transition from one decade of your life to the next. And the more I think about it, the more I realize that a lot of have a lot of preconceived notions about what you and/or your life should be like when you turn 30. We believe that we need to have achieved certain milestones or accomplishments before turning 30 or we’ve somehow failed ourselves.

I have friends who thought they needed to have done the following before turning 30: be married (or at least well on their way to being married), own a house or a car, understand how to create and maintain an investment portfolio, traveled internationally, climbed the corporate ladder, quit their 9-5 and chase their dreams, have a decent amount in their savings account… the list goes on and on and on. We all have a wide variety of intangible things we think we need to have done before beginning a new decade.

I know that my only stipulation for myself was “have your shit together by the time you’re 30.” And I honestly think I do. My marriage didn’t weigh into this, but traveling did. I own a car and hopefully next year, I’ll own a home. I have a savings account and I can pay off my bills with no issue or strain on my finances. I am doing well and, whether I like it or not, am now a 30 year old adult.

But, in the words of my favorite heroine*, I’m still cookie dough.

I think the fear of turning 30 also comes from the fear of being locked into who you are now or the life you currently have. As if it somehow can’t change once you leave your 20s behind.

I know that’s not true. I know that who I was at 25 isn’t who I am now. So who’s to say who I am now will be who I am when I’m 35? My life could look completely different then. There’s no real way of knowing but I learning to embrace the fact that the one constant will always be change.

Turning 30 is a milestone, just not to the extent I had dreaded it would be. If anything, I look forward to learning and growing and becoming whoever it is I’m meant to be. For this first year, and hopefully for a few more to come, I’ll try to live by this phrase:

bebrave

So, I’m still cooke dough. I’m not done baking yet. But one day, I’ll be cookies.

 

*Brownie points to you if you know this reference, but for this who don’t, it’s from the series finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

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currently, september edition

currentlyseptember

Oh hey, it’s September! The month started out great; Alex and I did some housesitting in the ‘burbs over the long holiday. The Renegade Craft Fair was last weekend and I finally got to take Alex to Xoco, which is still super tasty. I’m also convinced they have some of the best horchata that I’ve ever had there. And this weekend is Riot Fest! It’s basically been nonstop around here.

Listening to: I am beyond excited for Copeland’s new album! Their newest song, Ordinary, is so good and is the exact sort of music I listen to in the fall; soft, sweet, and soothing. They’re one of my favorite bands and recently reunited. I’ve only seen them once live and it was actually during their farewell tour; I was so bummed at the thought of never hearing new music from them again.

Thinking about: Oh I dunno… the fact that I got ENGAGED TWO WEEKS AGO? It’s pretty crazy. Alex caught me completely and totally by surprise; I never realized that he had been out and about with his parents looking for jewelers to custom make my ring. I came home before Labor Day weekend complaining about a tooth ache and my lack of motivation for going to the gym that evening. He responded by asking him to marry him. I’m sure he’s looking forward to dealing with my whining for the rest of EVER now.

Looking forward to: Thanksgiving! Ok, it’s a couple of months away, but my parents are coming into town for the first time in years to meet Alex’s family and spend the holiday here with us. I’m so excited to take them around Chicago. So far, I think I’ll take them to Eataly (which my dad is super excited about), the Christkindlmarket, and possibly ice skating downtown.

Reading: About to crack into Mockingjay again to refresh my memory before watching the final Hunger Games movie. After that, I should probably make a list of books to either buy myself or ask for this Christmas.

Watching: Brooklyn Nine Nine and Bojack Horseman. Alex and I have rewatched the first season of B99 because it’s so freaking hilarious. I can’t wait for the new season to start (along with the return of all shows I watch). Bojack Horseman is a strange but weirdly funny show from Netflix that stars Will Arnett as a washed up sitcom star who is also (you guessed it!) a horse. It somehow works, so I recommend you check it out.

Making me happy: New sweaters and boots. Abuelita chocolate creamer (which I never knew I needed until now because it’s AMAZING). The return of pumpkin beers.

Fall is basically around the corner, if not already here. The temperature has dipped significantly in the last couple of days, so I may as well embrace it, right?

currently, june edition

currentlyjune

[photo courtesy of death to photo stock]

It’s crazy to think that it’s been four years now since I moved back to Chicago. So much has happened in such a short span of time. I never would have guessed I would have ended up where I am now in life, which is a good thing. Anyway, it’s been a minute or two since my last post, so here’s what I’ve been up to lately:

Listening to: I’m really into “This is Gospel” by Panic! At the Disco right now. I haven’t listened to a lot of their music lately, but I used to be a big fan when they first started out. I remember meeting Brendon Urie when they opened for Fall Out Boy and he was so sweet (and baby-faced, even though we’re the same age). I’ve had this song on repeat lately, so it’s definitely going to end up on my summer mix.

Thinking about: New workouts to try out. I’ve been trying to fit in a workout, either at home or at the gym, at least four times a week. After a very long hiatus, I’ve finally gotten back into running. Fun fact: I used to be a runner and wanted to be on the track team in high school, but I didn’t pass my physical because the nurse thought I had a heart murmur (I didn’t). So I ended up being a theater geek and marching band nerd instead. In addition to running, I’m still trying to find longer workout videos that incorporate more weight training or yoga.

Looking forward to: GOING ON VACATION. I’ve been talking about this for MONTHS, but now it’s actually happening in one week. Ahh, so excited to get away and drink all the beer and eat all the food! I’ve been finalizing our plans for while we’re in Austin, including see the Mountain Goats at the Mohawk and seeing the new X-Men movie at the Alamo Drafthouse.

Reading: I finally finished Loteria but have yet to start Tell the Wolves I’m Home. I’ve been so lazy about reading lately; I hope I can change that this summer. Maybe I should join a book club?

Watching: GAME OF THRONES. I am beyond excited/nervous for the season finale this weekend. Oberyn Martell was one of my faves and his last episode was so brutal to watch (I literally screamed for the entire last three minutes). I really don’t know how they’ll outdo it, but I’m sure they’ll keep me on the edge of my seat the whole time.

Making me happy: Finally having some warm weather to enjoy. If anyone needs me, you can find me at Fountainhead’s rooftop on any given weekend.

currently, march edition

currentlymarch

Guys, I don’t think I can take much more of this winter. Seriously, this has been Chicago’s 4th snowiest winter EVER. And guess what? Tonight and tomorrow we’re getting MORE SNOW. Depending on how much we get, we could easily move to the 3rd or even 2nd spot on the list of snowiest winters on record. It’s madness!

Anyway, since I’ve been mostly cooped up in my apartment these days, here’s a currently post. :)

Listening to: Right now, I really love Lykke Li’s new song, Love Me Like I’m Not Made Of Stone. It’s such a sad song, but it still sounds like I’m something I would listen to on a warm summer night.

Thinking about: My vacation to Austin in early June! I know, it’s months away but Alex and I have officially bought plane tickets and are already planning out our long weekend. We haven’t taken a trip since we went to Denver in 2012, so we’ve definitely earned this.

Looking forward to: Having some fun this weekend, weather be damned! I’m going to see the new Veronica Mars movie on Friday night (ahhh, so excited!) and will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with a boozy brunch party on Saturday.

Reading: I still have two books that I got for Christmas that I have yet to start. I just cracked open Loteria by Mario Alberto Zambrano and I have Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt to read next.

Watching: Oh man. How intense was True Detective? I was on the literal edge of my seat throughout the entire finale. I’m also watching Hannibal, and House of Cards. Basically, I’m watching shows that are really good but are consistently making me anxious. I definitely to find something a bit more lighthearted to balance things out.

Making me happy: Finding new, healthy things to bake. I’m obsessed with these power muffins. I’ve already made them twice and they make the best breakfast or pre-workout snack. I don’t know how I’m just now discovering Oh She Glows, but I’m also going to try making this granola this week.

If you’re in my neck of the woods, hang in there! Spring has to show up eventually, right? Until then, stay warm!

make time, not excuses

maketime

(image courtesy of Death to Stock Photo)

I think I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve thought of something I would like to do or want to do, and immediately said to myself: Oh, I don’t have time for that.

I don’t have time to knit. I don’t have time to taking an intermediate class on HTML/CSS. I don’t have time to blog. I don’t have time to learn basic Portuguese, even though my job has made me realize that I would like to be able to say something other than, “Sorry, I don’t speak Portuguese” in Portuguese. I just don’t have time. Then I see other people accomplishing awesome things and get jealous, wondering why I can’t do what they do. The thing is, I probably can. I just haven’t tried because limiting myself has become the norm for me.

Sometimes, I truly am busy and things get set aside. Other times, I just don’t have the energy so when I finally have some down time, I somehow end up in front of the TV doing nothing. And this time of year, it’s also easy to blame the weather for my lethargy. But more often than not, I’m just discouraging myself, even if I don’t mean to. Instead, I stick to the same old routine during the work week and every now and then, maybe muster up some energy on the weekends. Even that’s not a common occurrence these days.

The thing is, I want to keep learning and creating. I like challenging myself. I want to learn more about coding and yes, I actually want to learn some Portuguese. So how do I make these things happen?

Make time. It’s actually that simple. The time to do these things exists, whether I believe it or not. I have to set aside 30 minutes to an hour, once a day or once a week, for the things I’ve otherwise insisted I can’t squeeze in. For a hobby, for learning, for writing, for pretty much anything I’d like to do. I don’t have to go crazy and do several things at once or sit aside several hours a week. It’s about starting small and making adjustments as I go.

Don’t make excuses. It’s so easy to talk yourself out of doing something, isn’t it? It’s also easy to waste time doing nothing than be productive (trust me, I would know). This post is how I’m going to hold myself accountable for making the best use of my time. Even if I’m just sitting in the front of the TV, I could just as easily be knitting at the same time.

Set goals. Even small ones make a difference. It could be that I want to write or blog at least once a week. Or I want to finish a knitting project in two to three months. Starting small gives you the ability to meet those goals easily; setting the bar too high can be another way of discouraging yourself.

It’s so important to make time for the things that matter to you. I know I’m ready to put in the effort. What do you wanna do with your free time?

currently, december edition

xmastree1

Photo from: My dining room, haha. It’s Alex and I’s first Christmas tree together. I’ve had roommates put up trees in the past years so I never had to put in any effort. But now that it’s just me and Alex, my unabashed love for Christmas has come shining through and I dragged him to Target the day after Thanksgiving to pick up a tree and some ornaments. I would love to have a real one, but with cats around, a plastic one is a better alternative.

Is this year really on the verge of ending? It’s crazy to think about. In the time since I last posted, I celebrated Thanksgiving, finished painting our new apartment, wrapped up my Christmas shopping, visited Eataly (if you’re in Chicago, go immediately because it’s amazing in there), and dealt with the recent onslaught of snow and sub-zero temperatures.

Listening to: Christmas music, pretty much nonstop these days. I’M NOT EVEN SORRY. Oh, and if you watched Orange is the New Black, check out Danielle Brooks (Taystee) and Uzo Aduba (Crazy Eyes) do this super adorable Christmas melody together. I’m obsessed with it!

Thinking about: Heading home in a week. My annual pilgrimage to Texas is a holiday tradition at this point, but I have to say, I’ll never get to used to have a 5 am flight every year. Thankfully my cab ride is already scheduled, so all I have to do is drag myself out of bed at 4 am (ugh).

Looking forward to: Celebrating Alex’s birthday on the 19th, even though he’s not exactly excited about the big 3-1. He has requested pizza and beer, so we’ll have dinner at a local pizzeria in our neighborhood and leave it at that. I’m just glad that we’re both fans of low-key birthday celebrations; even trying together with friends at a bar can be exhausting sometimes.

Reading: No books at the moment. All I seem to read these days are blogs and any news stories that pop up in my Twitter feed. I had plenty of books on my Christmas wish list though, so here’s hoping I get some of them.

Watching: American Horror Story and Almost Human. AHS: Coven is just, to put it lightly, batshit insane. It gets so ridiculous sometimes and yet I can’t stop watching. Curse you, Ryan Murphy! Almost Human is a new series on FOX that’s actually pretty interesting; it’s like a sci-fi version of Law and Order. We don’t have cable in the apartment but FOX streams all its shows on Hulu Plus so yay!

Making me happy: Christmas decorations everywhere. Mexican hot chocolate. Seasonal beers. Warm, fuzzy blankets. Cuddling in bed while it snows. Making plans for 2014.

Are you ready for this year to end? Are you already making plans like I am?

currently, september edition.

riotfest

Photo from: Riot Fest last weekend! I only went for one day (Saturday) but still had tons of fun. Saw some current favorites (Stars and DeVotchKa) and some bands I loved in high school, like Blink-182. My inner 15 year old was super happy to finally see them live. :)

Ah, so much going on right now! I’ve been slightly MIA in general online and probably won’t make a full return until next month. It doesn’t help that our wifi has been on the outs (getting it checked out this weekend), so when I do have some down time at home, I can only use my phone. So, here’s a quick update on life:

Listening to: Right now I love the songs ‘Pompeii’ by Bastille and ‘Dirty Paws’ by Of Monsters and Men. I have a fall playlist I’ve slowly been working on that I hope to share soon.

Thinking about: Moving in exactly 10 days. EEEP. Moving can be so stressful. There are boxes all over our current apartment and I feel like we have a million and one things to do before the moving truck shows up on the 30th. But at the same time, I’m so excited for our new apartment and making a trip to Ikea next weekend.

Looking forward to: My 5 year college reunion in two weeks! I have friends flying in from New York to join in on the festivities, which include a class party at Carnivale in the West Loop and our homecoming football game on Saturday. I still can’t believe we graduated five years ago, but I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone and reminiscing.

Reading: Nothing at the moment. I fail. I have so many books saved on Amazon and no time to read any of them!

Watching: Alex and I are watching random mix of shows right now, including Orphan Black and Black Mirror. If you haven’t checked out these awesome BBC shows, please do so! They’re really interesting and well done. Can’t wait for shows to start up again next month too; I’m mostly excited to get back into American Horror Story and The Vampire Diaries.

Making me happy: The slow transition of seasons. New nail polish. Tasty fall beers. The search for new boots. Checking out Apple Fest in our neighborhood this weekend. The new Trader Joe’s that’s walking distance from my office (although that might not be a good thing for my wallet).

Back to the grind I go! How’s life in your part of the world? :)

a peek at life lately.

marchlately

Wow, I’ve managed all of two posts so far this month. That’s a personal best! And by best, I mean worst. I keep promising I’ll try harder to sit down and blog, and yet here I am towards the end of this month with little to show for it. So here’s a glimpse at what’s been going on lately:

Weekend adventures so far have included buying new little succulents for my desk, wandering around Wicker Park (and into Reckless Records), Big Star takeout for the first time in forever, Angela’s the day before St. Patrick’s Day party (which is essentially becoming an annual thing), and general merriment. Alex and I had this past Monday off so we went to check out Kuma’s Too. I wish I had pictures to show, but we were too busy stuffing our faces.

It’s been a while since I’ve baked and I tackled making strawberries and cream biscuits last weekend (courtesy, of course, of Smitten Kitchen). I considered them semi-successful and would definitely try making them again! Since the wonderful Kitchen Aid mixer in my kitchen belong to my roommate, I need to try to use it a little more before I have to part with it. I have two baking opportunities coming up, so I’ll try and remember to actually take pictures for those.

Also, I’ve been GEEKING OUT lately. Why you ask? Well, for one, the Veronica Mars movie is HAPPENING. As everyone on the Internet already knows, they reached their Kickstarter goal of 2 million in A DAY. And the donations are still rolling in! I loved the show so hard and cannot wait for the movie. On top of this, Game of Thrones is back on the 31st and I’m basically spazzing out about that.

The majority of my days are as always, dedicated to my 9-5 and the never-ending amount of projects I’m juggling. But there’s a chance (and I’ll say chance because I don’t want to jinx myself) that I’ll get to travel for work in May out of the country, so keep your fingers crossed for me!

I’ll be back with more posts soon. Promise!

music of the moment: new politics

Around this time of year, my playlist tends to consist of mellow and/or downright mopey music. I blame the snow and lack of sunlight for this.

But even though there’s a snowstorm brewing outside of my window as I type, I cannot stop listening to this song. I heard it a few times on the radio before it got stuck in my head and I had to download it. It’s so catchy and upbeat; I’ve basically been listening to it non-stop. It’ll definitely be on a new playlist I’m putting together for when I need a quick energy boost.

What have you been listening to lately?

currently, feb. edition

currently

Oh hello there! It’s February and I have a mountain of projects to tackle here at work. But this is me, making an effort to blog in some capacity. So of course, I go with a Currently post. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

Watching: Doctor Who. Yes, Alex and I are one step closer to completing the nerdy trifecta and have started watching Doctor Who. We’re only a few episodes in and we started with the 9th Doctor, but I’m pretty sure we’re going to get sucked in. It should hold us over until Game of Thrones comes back next month.

Listening to: Fall Out Boy! I’m not even a little ashamed. They’re officially back from their hiatus and have a new album planned as well a tour schedule posted. They actually played at a small venue here in Chicago on Monday (the 4th) but the tickets LITERALLY sold out in a minute! I would have killed to have been there, but I guess I’ll just have to wait til they play the Riv in May.

Thinking about: About all the seriously huge purchases I’m about to make. This includes a new car (to replaced my totaled one) and a new computer (to replace my rapidly aging Macbook that will turn 6 this summer). There’s something about buying these things that is really daunting to me, but these days, I’m actually feeling a lot more like an actual adult. More about that in another post.

Looking forward to: Big group hangs this weekend! My friend Steve, who recently moved to SF, is back in town and the college gang will be getting together for this momentous occasion. We all talked about playing laser tag (in a FB group message that somehow turned into a chat room) and it might actually happen. I haven’t played laser tag since high school so I’m actually hoping we actually go for it. Drunk laser tag sounds pretty epic if you ask me.

Reading: I’ve powered through all the books my sister bought me for Christmas already (The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz), so I’ve bought the last two books of The Hunger Games trilogy and Damned by Chuck Palahniuk. Here’s hoping these keep me occupied for the next couple of weeks.

Making me happy: Home-cooked meals by my amazing chef of a boyfriend (mostly recently: lentil soup). Making plans for the future. Sticking to my gym schedule. Going back to dark hair (dyed it two weeks ago and it still looks great!). Using my new Diana F+ camera. Rewatching all the Harry Potter movies (because Alex has never seen them; ridiculous, I know). Local coffee shop lattes.

What have you been up to lately?